Prayer Guides

Prayer Guide for the 5.5 Acres at Grace United Methodist Church

Church Conference: Sunday, February 24, 12:15 p.m.
This guide has meditations and prayers appropriate for the day. Use them if you like, pray your own favorite scriptures, or simply walk in silent reflection. This is your time. And continue to pray before the Church Conference in two weeks!
Pastor Frank

I give this time to You alone. Please guide me in this prayer. I only ask for for honesty and total sincerity. May I pray from my heart alone. If there is anything I should experience now, or any words I should hear, I am ready to receive them. In stillness and quiet listening, I now open myself to you.
From The Quiet Answer by Hugh Prather

PRAYER WALKING: “You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.” (John 3:8 MSG). Movement is important. Prayer walking can be a physical way to awaken our docile spiritual lives.

Pay attention to everything around you. As you walk through the space, try to view circumstances, situations, and experiences through ‘spiritual eyes’. For instance, notice the parking spots. Another congregation once shared Christ in this space. How could Grace once again use the same space to share the Good News of Jesus? Listen for the sounds of cars on FM 1417. Think of the students who will learn at the new high school when it opens in 2021. How will God use Grace to minister to them? How could this property become a blessing for others? Take notice of the Grace friends prayer walking with you. With each movement of their steps, ask that God will be an active part of their lives.

BREATH PRAYER: Breath prayers are another way to become more aware of God’s presence. The Holy Spirit is as near as the air we breathe. A common way to practice breath prayer is silently repeating a single-line prayer with each breath. As you inhale address God with something like, “Jesus, Son of God.” Then, as you exhale, express a request to God such as, “show us the path you would have us follow,” or “give us courage to face the future unafraid,”  or “grant us your wisdom to make a good decision.” Repeat the prayer with each breath for several minutes. Listen for God.
For Direction

Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings, with your most gracious favor, and further us with your continual help, that in all our works, begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy name and finally, by your mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen- The Book of Common Prayer, UMH #705

An Invitation to the Holy Spirit

O God, the Holy Spirit, come to us, and among us; come as the wind, and cleanse us, come as the fire and burn, come as the dew and refresh; convict, convert, and consecrate many hearts and lives to our great good and to thy greater glory; and this we ask for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen. Eric Milner-White, England, UMH #335

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

O Great Spirit, whose breath gives life to the world, and whose voice is heard in the soft breeze; We need your strength and wisdom. Cause us to walk in beauty. Give us the eyes ever to behold the red and purple sunset. Make us wise so that we may understand what you have taught us.  Help us learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock. Make us always ready to come to you with clean hands and steady eyes, so when life fades, like the fading sunset, our hearts come to you without shame. Amen – Traditional Native American Prayer, UMCH #329                            

For Illumination

Open wide the window of our spirits, O Lord, and fill us full of light; open wide the door of our hearts, that we may receive and entertain thee with all our powers of adoration and love. Amen – Christina Rossetti, England, UMH #477

When our purpose is clear, there is no question what to do. Ultimately, we cannot make a mistake, for God has provided a Purpose to all we have done even though our motives may have been insincere at the time. Love uses all to bless all.

Our progress is seen not in what we do but in what we perceive our goal to be. Either we assign ego’s objective or God’s purpose, and that is determined by what we choose to consult within us at the time each decision is made. It is impossible not to consult something. If we think our experience is our guide, we will not believe that the still and present urgings of Love direct us.  
From The Quiet Answer by Hugh Prather

Prayer Guide for the General Conference of the United Methodist Church

60 Hours of Prayer for General Conference
Saturday-Tuesday, February 23-26

Thank you for participating in 60 Hours of Prayer! This guide has meditations and prayers appropriate for your 30-minute time slot. Use them if you like, pray your own favorite scriptures, or simply engage in silent reflection. This is your time.
Pastor Frank

Invitation: We will begin with a moment of holy silence to allow for centering, settling, and focusing.

Praying to know God’s will is a fundamental act of repentance. It is our way of saying to God, “I am willing to look at life from your point of view. I am willing to change my mind and heart and no longer look at life through the lens of my ego.” That is where the formation of a discerning heart begins, where the gospel begins, where life (abundant and everlasting) begins. Discernment offers a powerful way to deny the lure of egotism and discover the life of God in our souls. It is simultaneously an act of defiance and an act of devotion. So, in the context of walking with a formed heart, we begin with repentance.
– Steve Harper, Walking in the Light

Read Psalm 23
Psalm Prayer:
God of abundant generosity, you desire to fill our lives with good gifts that bring us joy and strengthen the common life of your people. Those who dwell in your house, opened to all by your beloved son, Jesus Christ, truly lack nothing. May the table you set before us be one around which we celebrate the rich unity in diversity that is a sure sign of your kingdom. Amen. Bishop Reuben P. Job. A Guide to Prayer for All Who Walk with God

Read Psalm 111
Psalm Prayer:
True wisdom is found only in you, O Lord. Grant us the wisdom to know what it is you would have us do, to follow and serve you, today and forever.  Amen.
Rueben P. Job, Norman Shawchuck, John S. Mogabgab, A Guide to Prayer for All Who Walk with God

Pray for The United Methodist Church, for its lay members, clergy members, fellowship, discipleship and leadership work. Pray that we would ground our feet firmly in hope. Pray also for the future work of the church.

Pray for the delegates. The responsibility they carry can feel heavy, and the emotions they are feeling and receiving can take a toll. Pray for their resilience and openness to the Holy Spirit, who speaks even when we are in “self-protection mode” but to whom are most receptive when our hearts are open and we are hope-filled.

Pray for all who will be presiding and leading during the session and for the staff who will be serving. Their clarity and wisdom make a big difference in the kind of conversation that the delegates are able to have and whether the delegates have confidence in the processes surrounding their work.

Pray for the outreach and mission service of The United Methodist Church and how this will be enhanced by the structures and directions set by the special session. Pray for the ministry of congregations, conferences and agencies serving people in need around the world.

Prayer of Adoration
Good and great God, we recognize and celebrate that you are loving, kind, and faithful. You are everywhere in this world and beyond. You are also as close as our next breath. With John Wesley we rejoice knowing, "Best of all, you are with us.”
Silence, concluding with these words: “Hear our prayer, O God.”

Prayer of Thanks
God of grace, we thank you that you hear us when we pray and are ever ready and able to act in ways beyond anything we could ask or imagine. Thank you for our brothers and sisters around the world, and especially for those who have offered to serve by attending the special-called General Conference. Thank you for ordering our steps and for preparing away. Silence, concluding with these words: “Hear our prayer, O God.”

Prayer of Confession
Forgiving God, we confess that we have allowed fear and distrust to place distance between us and our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ. Forgive us for making idols of our own thoughts, voices, and opinions. Thank you for forgiving us and for your perfect love that casts out all fear.
Silence, concluding with these words: “Hear our prayer, O God.”

Prayer of Asking
God of peace and wisdom, from this time forward, may we walk with you in trust and peace, and with our brothers and sisters in the love and unity you desire. May we truly sing together in harmony a song of praise that draws all to you. Even now, may you bless those who will attend the special-called General Conference, assuring them of your love, filling them with your wisdom, preparing them with your peace. May they and we become more sensitive to the voice of your Holy Spirit, so that all we do will please you and bring you glory.
Silence, concluding with these words: “Hear our prayer, O God.”